Steve Leone, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
February 10, 2012 | 17 Comments
California was long ago picked clean of its gold, but the state continues to foster a prospector's mentality and a willingness to sift through the swift current of ideas for one more discovery that will further cement its place as the world's center for innovation.
It’s been done in recent decades in electronics, computing, and through the rise of the dot-com and telecom industries. It’s where social media blossomed and where Google became a verb. The Golden State has also been home to some of the most novel approaches to energy — ideas that originally extended beyond the traditional power plant, but ones that ultimately circled back as mainstream solutions.
It’s also where failure is seen as an acceptable part of the exploration process, much like the many gold-diggers who paid small fortunes only to come up empty-handed. It’s this pioneering mentality that has long fueled the state, spurring equal parts risk and business acumen.
This spirit of invention remains alive and prosperous today in California, an economic giant that by itself represents the world’s eighth largest economy. And no industry in this state offers as much transformative potential than those companies and institutions pushing the boundaries of clean energy, and those looking to create new pathways to getting there.
It is widely recognized that most new technologies will fail to deliver on the promise envisioned at the outset. Often times, though, the discoveries far outlive their inventors, and the new products and new methods created forge a path for even bigger and greater achievements.
Below, you will find a collection of projects that are working to change the landscape of our energy future. Some were born and raised in the labs of small companies. Others received funding from the federal government, which saw the technology as worthy of investment. Some are outwardly daring. Others provide subtle shifts to established technologies. For all, their potential is great and their mission is unwavering.
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